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20060308,01


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Reflections coming back up Memory Lane.

We've got OS X install CDs and DVDs going way back. We're going to look into them. We got our first OS X boxes long before Jaguar on 24 August 2002. I know what we're going to find: that not a one of them has /Library/StartupItems.

That sounds like 'security through obscurity' and it lends a lot of weight to the contention that the platform's been safe only because of the thin demographic. It's also a reaffirmation of what we've been saying all along, namely that OS X users if put to it by interlopers have the odds stacked against them.

The bad guys come in with advanced weaponry; all OS X users have is what Apple give them, and that's like giving a someone a pea shooter to fight a Stinger missile.

If one looks at the other Linux distros out there, one sees what a difference there is. The flaw in Apple's file manager is not that it's not spatial enough: it's that it's not powerful enough. And Apple try to hide things from users; they supply hard drives with 15,000 directories and 80,000 files and make it as impossible as can be for OS X users to actually access all of that.

All the while the hackers can go wherever they want.

Important Unix directories are listed in /.hidden and therefore not listed by Apple's file manager; would GNOME or KDE dare to do this? Nautilus and Konqi might come up in a default icon display mode, but they can flip into rocket science mode too. They're general purpose tools - not as streamlined as our Xfile - and they try to be all things for all users - but they give users adequate defence when needed.

It's really bizarre, this 'kiddie' attitude towards Unix. Secretaries were using Unix long before the 'GUI revolution'. They might like to claim they're superhuman but whatever effort they made was perfectly within reason - 'back then'.

It's like Forest Ranger Hank says: all the commercial companies want people to do is use their opposable thumbs to 'click click click' on buttons that transfer more money into the coffers. Security isn't an issue - not for these companies. Money is the issue and there's no other.

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